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GK Adjusting To College Game
August 18, 2003

Feature story on about Jersey Shore Boca GK Chris Konopka who reported to Providence College in August hoping for his shot to face the powerhouses of the Big East.

GK Adjusting To College Game

Former Toms River High School East standout goalkeeper Chris Konopka reported to pre-season training camp at Providence College in Rhode Island on Tuesday August 12th and has not looked back since.

Konopka, a 2003 graduate from TRE and a member of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club, is one of three goalkeepers competing for time between the pipes at the NCAA Division I BIG EAST school as the 2003 men’s collegiate soccer season approaches.

“I was a little bit nervous my first day. The level of competition, speed of play, fitness and decision making are all very intense at this level” said Konopka.

“I’m getting familiar to everything. All of my teammates and coaches have been great. I’m going to try my very best and work as hard as I can and hopefully be able to get some playing time this year. I’m looking forward to the season and to helping the team anyway I can” he concluded.

In addition to daily individual goalkeeper training, Konopka’s pre-season schedule at Providence includes a 6am wake-up call, morning run, team tactical practice and then strength & fitness exercises before lunch.

In the afternoon, his schedule includes more team training, short sided drills and then full-field scrimmages.

On Sunday August 17th Providence College and Konopka, played their first exhibition match of the pre-season, a 2-0 shutout of Southern Connecticut State University.

Konopka and Jeff Newman, a junior goalkeeper from Northboro, Mass. split time in the net for the Friars keeping the SCSU Owls scoreless for a full ninety minutes.

“Our staff feels that we have compiled a talented group of student-athletes who will compete for a starting spot on our team and can compete in the BIG EAST Conference early in their college careers,” said Providence College men’s soccer coach Chaka Daley.

“Some of our newcomers will impact our team immediately giving us an added dimension to our program. It also was essential to add quality depth to a young nucleus as we embark upon our mission to become a respected soccer program regionally, nationally and in the BIG EAST” Daley continued.

Providence College continues their exhibition schedule this week when they travel to Boston College on Wednesday afternoon.

The two teams will face off again in regular-season play on October 1 in Providence.

Boston College ended the Friars season last fall with a 4-0 win in the BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals.

Providence hosts Franklin Pierce College from New Hampshire on Sunday in their final exibition match before the regular season.

The Friars open their regular 2003 men’s soccer season on August 29th when they meet Sacred Heart University in Conn.

Providence will play their first BIG EAST Conference game of the 2003 season when the Friars travel to New Brunswick on Saturday September 6th to take on the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University.

Konopka chose to attend Providence over West Virginia, Seton Hall, Rutgers, American University, Rhode Island, Boston University, East Carolina and LIU.

At the high school level, Konopka was a three-year varsity starter for Coach John Crowley and the Raiders of Toms River East.

Konopka finished his 56 game high school career with an overall record of 26-23-7. He allowed only 66 goals and had a career goals against average of 1.18.

Last year he led TRE to a 9-9-2 mark and a berth in the NJSIAA State playoffs.

For his efforts as a senior, Konopka was honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America being selected as a 2002 NSCAA/Adidas High School Regional All-American, one of only three players in Toms River East history to garnish such an award.

He was also named as one of New Jersey’s “Top 51” high school soccer players in 2002 receiving numerous All-State, All-County and All-Conference honors.

He is also a two-year member of the United States Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development team and a five-year member of the New Jersey ODP state team.

Konopka is also a long-time member of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club and was a part of the Boca’s Premiere Development League team in 2003 and Super Y-League teams for 2002 and 2001.

Konopka is an Art Studio major at Providence and plans to concentrate in computer graphics and design.

Published on
August 19, 2003